"Record-breaking global temperatures were found in each of the first five months of 1998. During those months, the average global surface temperature was 1.76 degrees above an average of 61.7 degrees for the benchmark period of 1961 to 1990. "One consensus that is emerging is that this El Nino is in its dying stages. Unlike the last El Nino event that lingered on from mid-1990 to mid-1995, El Nino 1997-1998 is showing clear signs of weakening with all indices diminishing. [3] There is considerable uncertainty, however, about the rate of weakening. One model has conditions moving rapidly towards normal by mid-1998, and another has El Nino lingering on towards the end of the year. "A more pronounced harbinger of change to come is in the sea level. From a peak of 33 cm above normal, [6] the sea level off the coast of South America has lowered 15 cm, as the ocean is beginning to rise again in the western Pacific. Cooler, nutrient-rich water from the thermocline is starting to well up offshore. A mass of cool water some 55 m below the sea surface, measured along the equator by the TAO buoy array, [7] is moving towards South America's coast. Sea-surface temperatures have returned to normal along coastal Peru south of 14xS. Anchovy and sardine catches have returned to normal in that region." [8]"-- http://www.wmo.ch/nino/updat.html VIA Bruce Wright <Bruce.Wright@noaa.gov>
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